In 2003, a vicious month-long heatwave hit France. Temperatures across the country rose above 40°C (104°F). Close to 15,000 people died.
Fifteen years later, the country is gearing up for round two. Temperatures in some parts of France are expected to peak at 45°C (113°F) this week—the highest June temperatures on record for the country, according to meteorological service Météo France—as gusts of very hot air flow northward from the Sahara desert.
These types of extreme weather events are becoming more common globally, and have been shown by research groups like the World Weather Attribution Project to be linked to climate change. The project, an international consortium of academic and meteorological institutes which conducts real-time research into this type of intense weather, showed that last year’s northern European heatwave, which featured record-breaking temperatures, wildfires, and giant algae blooms, was significantly more likely to have happened because of human-caused climate change.